Indications for Surgery:
Persisting neck pain and/or pain, numbness, tingling, weakness of arms/hands that has not improved with nonsurgical care. Typically these symptoms occur where there are nerves being pinched in the neck. Imaging such as X-rays and MRI may show certain areas in your neck with disc herniations, arthritis or degenerative changes and nerves or the spinal cord being pinched.
A small incision is made on the front part of your neck. This allows direct
access to the damaged or herniated disc which is removed. Additional bone and soft tissue that may be compressing nerves are also removed. Next, the disc is replaced with an implant. For fusions, the level is stabilized with a plate and screws.
Most patients can go home the same day of surgery. Some may need to stay at the hospital for one night. You will be provided a soft collar to wear for comfort. Most patients can return to work and driving after their 2 week postoperative appointment. Some patient will be referred to physical therapy during their postoperative recovery to help regain motion and strength and optimize their outcomes.
This video shows demonstrates what to expect from an ACDF procedure